Story: A well-educated, ‘settled’ NRI falls for a stand-up comedian and wants to marry her. But when she knows what she wants from her husband, will he fit the bill?
Review: Remember those pandaga movies where huge families would convene to decide what’s best for the lead pair because ‘family always knows best’? This is that film. But, this is also the film where the one set to be married off knows what they want from life and will not settle for anything less. In a film that tries to find a balance between these two mentalities, Most Eligible Bachelor turns out to be a breezy romance.
Harsha (Akhil Akkineni) is ready to get married in the next few weeks. He has a good job in the US, even an own house that he bought with his hard-earned money, the next logical step is to find himself a life-partner to spend his life with. Stepping in to find someone perfect for him via 20 pelli choopulu is his family in Hyderabad, because he girl he’s looking for is already out there, he just has to say yes to one of them. Vibha (Pooja Hegde) on the other hand is an independent stand-up comedian who knows saddukupovadam is not the secret to a good marriage; in fact it’s not even love. She dreams of something more in her life partner and won’t settle for anything less. When Harsha believes he’s the ‘most eligible bachelor’ there is, will he manage to be the perfect someone for Vibha.
Bommarillu Bhaskar makes a comeback to TFI with a commercial film that has a little bit of everything – romance, comedy, fights – you name it, he has it. While the proceedings might lack logic and sometimes even any story, the film manages to be the kind of drama you want to watch with family at the cinemas with a tub of popcorn in hand. Because, the director manages to inject just enough life into the characters for you to care. Harsha’s lack of knowledge of what makes a good marriage stems from the people he has seen around him, so does Vibha’s wisdom when it comes to these things. It also helps that Akhil and Pooja exude a kind of light-heartedness when they play these characters, not going overboard even in the emotional scenes. Rest of the characters remain cookie cutter.
Most Eligible Bachelor is also peppered with actors like Sudigali Sudheer and Vennela Kishore, who are hilarious to watch, apart from performances by able actors like Murli Sharma, Pragati, Jayaprakash and more. Chinmayi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Faria Abdullah, Eesha Rebba’s cameos are a delight and fans of Sisindri will feel like Akhil’s career has come full circle to see Aamani play his mother. Over and above the commercial elements, the film manages to discuss marital issues in an honest manner when it matters. Gopi Sundar’s music and Pradeesh Varma’s cinematography support the film ably.
What Most Eligible Bachelor lacks is a focus on the story at hand for a portion of the film and the kind of emotional depth that’ll make you shed tears when it matters. Cinematic liberties are of course taken but at the end of it all, does it even matter? Things get repetitive when Harsha’s family keeps trying to hitch him to women he doesn’t want to marry and instead of having an honest conversation with them, he keeps making matters worse. Vibha is a stand-up comedian but none of her ‘jokes’ really make you laugh out loud. The character does get its chance, a la Siddhu in Bommarillu, to take a stand but the film stretches till that moment finally rolls around.
At its heart, Most Eligible Bachelor remains the story of a man who thinks he has it all to make a good husband and a woman giving him a reality check. Watch this one if you like breezy romances.